HTC announces Windows Phone 8S a midrange Microsoft handset for the fashion conscious

The Windows Phone 8 era is swinging into full effect. Nokia's big launch event was only a few short weeks ago, now HTC is enjoying its time in the spotlight with two handsets of its own. The Windows Phone 8S makes no mystery of its platform choice and, like the One S, indicates its midrange status with a simple alphabetic suffix. This four-inch phone will be shipping with HSPA on board. Unfortunately there's no word on an LTE edition of this rather handsome device. Spec-wise, the WVGA screen leaves us a little wanting, but we appreciate the combination of Super LCD and Gorilla Glass, which should make for a contrasty and scratch resistant panel. Under the hood is a dual-core S4 clocked at 1GHz, which is hardly a speed demon by todays standards, but should be enough to keep Microsoft's streamlined OS humming along nicely. The CPU is augmented by 512MB of RAM, which isn't any beefier than most Mango phones prepping for retirement.

A paltry 4GB of storage is baked in, but thankfully HTC saw fit to include a microSD slot for expansion. Those rather modest internals should help the handset make the most of the 1,700 mAh battery at least. Sadly, the Taiwanese manufacturer decided to skip a front-facing cam on its entry level device and the sensor around back is only 5MP and limited to 720p video capture. At 10.28mm thick the 8S isn't the sleekest handset, but the tapered edges make look quite a bit thinner than that measurement would indicate. There's no denying the appeal of the two-tone polycarbonate bodies, regardless of comparative girth, which feature soft touch finishes in veritable rainbow of options. Pricing has yet to be announced, but you can expect the 8S to hit shelves in early November on a number of carriers. Full PR awaits after the break.

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HTC AND MICROSOFT UNVEIL FIRST SIGNATURE WINDOWS PHONES

New Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC to be available through
more than 150 mobile operators globally

NEW YORK, 19th September, 2012 - HTC, a global leader in mobile innovation and design, and Microsoft today unveiled the first signature Windows Phones, the stunning Windows® Phone 8X and 8S by HTC®. The smartphones feature the new Windows Phone 8 operating system and boast iconic design, studio-quality sound with Beats Audio™ and incredible camera capabilities.

"Pairing HTC's beautiful new Windows Phone 8X and 8S with our brand is a big milestone for both companies," said Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft. "Together we are offering customers a clear choice and a truly unique experience. I'm thrilled to take our longstanding partnership to the next level."

"We've been inspired by Windows Phone 8 to create new smartphones that give the platform the iconic design and personality it deserves," said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC Corporation. "Windows Phone has clearly emerged as one of the top mobile ecosystems and is competitive against any other smartphone platform in the world."

Iconic Design
The only phone with Live Tiles, Windows Phone has a clear, differentiated vision and the consumer experience has been widely recognized as being groundbreaking, innovative and fresh. HTC created the Windows Phone 8X and 8S to blend the virtual and the physical utilizing a three dimensional, pure uni-body design based on the Windows Phone Live Tiles. The Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC are perfectly sculpted with a dramatic taper making them feel magically thin in your hand.

Because color is such an integral part of the Windows Phone experience, HTC is bringing bold, sophisticated and adventurous colors in a premium matte finish to these devices. The Windows Phone 8X will come in a variety of colors including California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow. The Windows Phone 8S by HTC will be available in Domino, Fiesta Red, Atlantic Blue and High-Rise Gray.

Capture and share your world
For the first time, HTC is introducing a 2.1mp, f/2.0 aperture, 88° ultra-wide angle front-facing camera that allows up to four people and more to be captured at once. It also supports 1080p video capture. The rear camera sports an 8mp CMOS sensor with backside-illumination (BSI) for improved low-light performance, along with an f/2.0 aperture, 28mm lens and a dedicated imaging chip. A physical shutter button makes it quick and easy to capture spontaneous action, even if the phone is locked.

Spectacular Sound with Beats Audio
Exclusively available on HTC smartphones, Beats Audio provides authentic, studio-quality sound that delivers the spirit of the original recording. The Windows Phone 8X by HTC featuring Beats Audio also offers a unique audio amplifier powering the 3.5mm audio jack and the speaker, boosting the audio signal for even better sound no matter if you're listening to music, playing a game or watching a video.

Brilliant Display
The Windows Phone 8X by HTC features a beautiful, 4.3" HD-resolution super LCD 2 screen protected from everyday bumps and scrapes by lightweight Gorilla® Glass 2, while optical lamination reduces reflections and glare, ensuring you see every detail. The Windows Phone 8S by HTC boasts a bright super LCD 4" screen with Gorilla® Glass, allowing users to see the Windows Phone Live Tiles, and every message and photo, with crystal clarity and sparkling color.

Entertainment
With the Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC people can carry their favorite music, movies and photos with them wherever they go. With the Windows Phone Store and Xbox Live, it is easier than ever to enjoy the latest video, music and games on the move.

Availability
The Windows Phone 8X and 8S by HTC will be available beginning in November. Available through more than 150 carriers in 50+ countries, the Windows Phone 8X or 8S by HTC will be available from the world's top carriers including: United States: AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Europe: Orange, O2 Telefonica, MTS, Three UK, T-Mobile, and Vodafone Asia-Pacific: Chunghwa Telecom, Optus, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (Singtel), Smartone, Telstra and Vodafone Australia.

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HTC announces Windows Phone 8S: a mid-range Microsoft handset for the fashion conscious